Let's Make Robots!


So I love lasers. Really, really love them. I've bought about a dozen different types of laser modules (green/red) to play with on my next bot. However I'm at a loss as to where to even begin on using them as more than just a "frickin laser beam", and have it actually DO SOMETHING!

I've been scouring the net and LMR for info on building a cheap Laser Rangefinder and/or LIDAR system, I love the idea of mapping a room with lasers and having the information sent back to the microprocessor and/or base station pc for visual processing by the user. However, I'm also confused about these two terms; are they the same thing?

I've seen Fritzl's post (http://letsmakerobots.com/node/1833) about a DIY LRF using visible LED light and a Photoresistor, is something like this possible with a laser? Wouldn't that just be a simple range finder like the Sharp IR's? I want something more elaborate than that.

Then there's the ol' webcam/laser pointer setup (https://sites.google.com/site/todddanko/home/webcam_laser_ranger) but not really the route I want to go.

Also does anyone have any suggestions for machine vision via Kinect/Webcam/CMUcam etc?


Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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Just wondering if you found Oddbot's blog, its a couple of years old. but the best thing I read on the subject.


The circuit that OddBots has is pretty interesting. A bit beyond my technical scope at the moment as far as reproducing it from scratch, but amazing nonetheless! Thanks for the find!

both ChuckCrunch, and, Gareth have done some laser/Wiicamera work. I know for sure Chris the Carpenter has done some work with a Wii camera and a laser.

I'll look into their work, thank you very much


there is some code for Arduino and Processing attached to the post.The Wii cam from rocket brand studios can track 4 blobs (points of light )and size of blob, is sensitive in the inferred range , simple to use , a 1mW laser will work but a 5mW is better ,there images up there but most of them are using a Sharp IR range finder. my plain is to combine the data from both to create a better image with more detail and color (color parts of the image go and no go zones) i am yet to get back to this project

i had an idea involving lasers androbots a while ago:

robot laser tag; equip several robots with lasers as weapons, and solar cells as targets and have them duke it out.


I wonder if there would be some way to diffuse the laser beam to create line scanner and adapt fritzl's idea to read the reflected light? I'm still trying to refresh my memory when it comes to electronics and schematics, I dabbled in it when I was a wee boy.

ive seen lenses that make lines and various other patterns on ebay...

I'm wondering if the Video Experimenter board for Arduino (http://nootropicdesign.com/ve/) would work alongside an attached laser like the aforementioned cam/laser project? Anyone have any thoughts or ideas about this? All I'd need is to attach a camera with an RCA cable to the shield...